Science in Action
Visitors taking a walk through the biology lab in Manley Hall this time of year are likely to see some strange sights. Plants wrapped in brightly colored cellophane paper, Petri dishes filled with odd-looking molds and an array of plants being grown under seemingly tortuous circumstances cover the counters. What does it all mean? Science projects are in full swing at Notre Dame.
Beginning in September, biology students learned how to apply the scientific method to develop hypotheses, design experiments and analyze data. During first semester, each student chose a topic to research and wrote a review paper which included background information on her independent and dependent variables and a review of three experiments related to her topic.
During second semester, students teamed up in groups of two or three and wrote a science project proposal which included their own experimental design for a project to be completed by early April. Throughout the month of March, students have set up their experiments and collected data under the supervision of Lisa Yi and Victoria Evashenk. Projects include studying the effect of varying concentrations of hydrogen peroxide on seed germination, the effect of acid rain on plant growth, the effect of food preservatives on the growth of bacteria, the effect of caffeine on human physiology and the effect of clothing styles on the perception of teenage personality.
The project will culminate with the submission of a technical paper and a presentation to the class. We look forward to seeing the results of their efforts!